FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Worldwide Successful Experiences for Treated Wastewater and Drainage Water Reuse for Agricultural Development

21/10/2020-21/10/2020

Introduction

The Near East and North Africa region has the lowest reserves of freshwater resources in the world. Water availability has been decreasing by two thirds over the last 40 years. In light of this growing water scarcity, changing climatic conditions and increasing water demands, the region is expected to experience economic losses estimated at 6 -14% of GDP by 2050. By that time, 60% more freshwater resources will be needed to satisfy growing global demand for food.

In this context and within the framework of the Regional Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI), FAO and its partners are continuing to support - more than ever before - countries in the region in addressing their most pressing challenges: assessing food and water security for sustainable economic and social development. To prevent acute water shortages, reuse of non-conventional water resources for agricultural development is emerging as a priority for most of the countries.

So far, the potential of non-conventional water resources remains untapped. The role of these resources in strengthening water security in the region is undervalued. Indeed, countries in the region have different levels of reuse of these resources. Oman - ranked 16th on the list of countries experiencing water stress - treats 100% of collected wastewater and reuses 78%. About 84% of all wastewater collected in the Gulf countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) is treated at high levels, but only 44% is reused. Jordan, which had a low to almost zero reuse rate in the early 2000s, has reached a rate of over 80% through promoting indirect reuse. For the Maghreb countries the rate of reuse is still very low - below 20%. The amount of drainage water resources is insufficiently recorded and reused in the region. Figures for drainage water resources and their reuse rate at the national level are often missing.

Over the last several years, several projects have been implemented in the region to tap into the potential of treated wastewater and drainage water for agricultural development.

ICBA, for example, has done extensive research in the UAE on the costs and benefits of using in agriculture treated wastewater, which accounts for 12% of the total water supply in the country and undergoes tertiary treatment.

These activities are aimed to produce a diagnostic analysis on the production, storage and reuse of these non-conventional water resources through national and sub-regional assessments highlighting the potential for collaboration. They will propose a regional approach with visions, strategies, action plans and solutions through pilot field projects in several countries throughout all the region. They also envisage preparations for determining funding for an ambitious regional project as an investment program for the development of the reuse of non-conventional water resources for agricultural development.

Within this framework, FAO and its partners - ICBA, IWMI, WHO and IME - joined forces to organize a webinar series for improved regional cooperation between countries in the field of non-conventional water reuse for agricultural development. These webinars will contribute to enhancing knowledge and information on the safe use of treated wastewater and drainage water in agriculture. Some of them will focus on policy dialogue for strategies and initiatives promoting non-conventional water reuse in the region.

Webinar #2 in the series will discuss successful experiences in treated wastewater and drainage water reuse around the world and a new holistic approach to boosting the rate of reuse for agricultural development.

Discussion questions

This webinar #2 will be discussing the success stories around the region and the world. More specifically, it will discuss technical, social and management issues of the reuse of drainage water and treated wastewater for agriculture. Following presentations are planned under this webinar #2:

  1. Dr. Redouane Choukrallah, Senior Water Expert: Successful experiences for Treated Wastewater (TWW) reuse in North Africa countries.
  2. Eng. José Carlos González Martínez, Area Chief for water quality at CHS (Segura River Basin Authority): Water Reclamation and Reuse in South Eastern Spain.
  3. Dr. Mazen Malkawi, WHO Regional Advisor: WHO experience in Jordan vis-a-vis WW Reuse project for agricultural production.
  4. Dr. James Oster, Emeritus Soil and Water Specialist, University of California, Riverside, Fellow, American Society of Agronomy: Worldwide successful experiences for Drainage Water reuse.
  5. Dr. Ragab Ragab, Professor, PH & WRM Specialist, UK CEH Oxfordshire, UK &. Vice President of ICID:  Non-conventional water resources management for food production.

Audience

The webinar #2 is designed for national multidisciplinary teams, including policymakers and stakeholders from ministries of agriculture, water, environment and health and other authorities, research and development sectors, civil societies and private sector entities involved and interested in the non-conventional water sector.

Technical specifications – Registration

The webinar #2 will use Zoom as a technical platform and will run for two hours. It will be conducted in French and English. Translation will be organized. All needed materials, documentation and presentations will be made available to all registered participants.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, make comments and share relevant information and material through a chat function.

The webinar #2 will be recorded and will be made available along with the associated materials and documents on the web pages of FAO, WHO, IWMI, ICBA and IME.

Register in advance for this webinar #2:

https://fao.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7KLdNDXBSXeQrzjg7CEGCw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar #2.

 Agenda

Wednesday October 21st, 2020

11:00 - 11:10

Moderator of the Webinar #2: Dr. Faycel Chenini, Project Coordinator(FAO SNE)

 Opening remarks: Dr. Khalil Ammar, Principal Scientist (ICBA)

11:10 - 11:50

Presentations of the keynote speakers:

  1. Dr. Redouane Choukrallah, Senior Water Expert: Successful experiences for Treated Wastewater (TWW) reuse in North Africa countries.
  2. Eng. José Carlos González Martínez, Area Chief for water quality at CHS (Segura River Basin Authority): Water Reclamation and Reuse in South Eastern Spain.
  3. Dr. Mazen Malkawi, WHO Regional Advisor: WHO experience in Jordan vis-a-vis WW Reuse project for agricultural production.
  4. Dr. James Oster, Emeritus Soil and Water Specialist, University of California, Riverside, Fellow, American Society of Agronomy: Worldwide successful experiences for Drainage Water reuse.
  5. Dr. Ragab Ragab, Professor, PH & WRM Specialist, UK CEH Oxfordshire, UK &. Vice President of ICID:  Non-conventional water resources management for food production.

11:50 -12:10

Discussion with the Keynote Speakers

 

12:10 -12:25

Questions and answers with all participants

 

12:25 -12:30

 

Concluding remarks

Dr. Maki Abdourahman, Land and Water Officer (FAO SNE)

Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi, Senior Scientist – Irrigation and Water Management (ICBA)